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The Tip of the Iceberg:
Mastering Reverse Logistics
Camille Fournier
CTO, Rent the Runway
@skamille
The Website
The Operation
0
20000
40000
60000
80000
100000
120000
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Inventory
Inventory
THE BEGINNING
Rent the Runway: What we do, how we started
FROM DRYCLEANERS TO
WAREHOUSE
How far can you go with Google Docs, anyway?
Growth: 400 units to 8000
How far can you go with Google Docs?
ADDING TECHNOLOGY
Pick from shelf, pack in box, ship
OUR UNIQUE PROBLEMS
Time sensitive full reverse logistics
Weekend-dominated business means peak return
and ship out day is Wednesday
Over 60% ...
Dry cleaning?!
Repairs??
INITIAL INNOVATIONS
Smarter Reservations
Smarter Allocation
SCALING LOGISTICS FOR THE
FUTURE
Unit Priority
BUILDING A BRAIN
Last Ship Today
UPS/Fedex
Last Ship NOT
Today, past/on
early ship
Early ship not
started, will be
needed soon
The Complete...
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
Having a warehouse is crazy and fun…
Especially during Hurricanes
Every Second Counts.
The only benchmark is our
business growth.
Thanks!
Questions? Comments?
@skamille
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote
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Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote

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The tip of the iceberg at Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is an iceberg of a business: when you look at the website you only see the smallest bit above the surface. Below the surface is the hugely complex array of people and systems that we use to fulfill the promise we make to our customers to deliver a Cinderella experience.

To frame the problem, imagine that you are building Netflix, only instead of shipping out DVDs, you are shipping out thousand dollar dresses. And those dresses have to get to someone in time to be worn to a big event, say, her prom night. Then they come back to us, to be inspected, cleaned, repaired, and sent off to the next Cinderella who needs them. This is the operational challenge that Rent the Runway has had to attack over the past 4 years of its existence. We describe our problem as ""reverse logistics"", far from just pick pack ship, we have to think a lot about the return phase of the order and how we can quickly process things coming in to enable them to go back out again.

I will discuss about how we have gone from a system run manually via Google Docs to one that runs on a network of event-driven services that coordinate the operations of hundreds of staff shipping tens of thousands of orders a week. This is a story about marrying complex technology, logistics and data considerations to physical processes that require large numbers of people making time-sensitive decisions. There are a few interesting key points of change in the story, from manual tracking to semi-automated to redesigning the entire warehouse flow (and entire software stack) to support real time inventory adjustment and same-day processing.

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Startupfest 2015: CAMILLE FOURNIER (Rent the Runway) - Keynote

  1. 1. The Tip of the Iceberg: Mastering Reverse Logistics Camille Fournier CTO, Rent the Runway @skamille
  2. 2. The Website The Operation
  3. 3. 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 100000 120000 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Inventory Inventory
  4. 4. THE BEGINNING Rent the Runway: What we do, how we started
  5. 5. FROM DRYCLEANERS TO WAREHOUSE How far can you go with Google Docs, anyway?
  6. 6. Growth: 400 units to 8000
  7. 7. How far can you go with Google Docs?
  8. 8. ADDING TECHNOLOGY
  9. 9. Pick from shelf, pack in box, ship
  10. 10. OUR UNIQUE PROBLEMS
  11. 11. Time sensitive full reverse logistics Weekend-dominated business means peak return and ship out day is Wednesday Over 60% of our inventory is received and reshipped in a single day
  12. 12. Dry cleaning?!
  13. 13. Repairs??
  14. 14. INITIAL INNOVATIONS
  15. 15. Smarter Reservations
  16. 16. Smarter Allocation
  17. 17. SCALING LOGISTICS FOR THE FUTURE
  18. 18. Unit Priority
  19. 19. BUILDING A BRAIN
  20. 20. Last Ship Today UPS/Fedex Last Ship NOT Today, past/on early ship Early ship not started, will be needed soon The Complete JIT Reverse Logistics System (“ResCal”, “Allogator”,“Baywatch”, “Shipmunk”, “Panda”) - A set of home grown systems powers our complex eco system of reservations, allocation and unit prioritization, assembly, shipping, and the overall fulfillment. ALLOCATION MAP Presort Receiving Pre-Inspection Cleaning Spotting Steaming Repair QC RACKED UNITS Assembly Bay (JIT op) Shipping Group Assembled, Completed UPS Drop off
  21. 21. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
  22. 22. Having a warehouse is crazy and fun…
  23. 23. Especially during Hurricanes
  24. 24. Every Second Counts.
  25. 25. The only benchmark is our business growth.
  26. 26. Thanks! Questions? Comments? @skamille

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